San Diego Gulls action on Saturday night
Action on the ice Saturday night in Bakersfield. Courtesy San Diego Gulls

San Diego Gulls were unable to close out the American Hockey League’s Pacific Division finals Saturday evening, losing 2-1 to the Bakersfield Condors in Bakersfield on Josh Currie’s goal 13 minutes, two seconds into the second overtime.

The loss cut the Gulls lead in the best-of-seven series to three games to two. Game 5 will be played Monday night at Pechanga Arena San Diego.

The Gulls tied the score at 10:44 of the second period when Kevin Roy took a pass from Corey Tropp and put a shot from in front in the right goalpost into the net for his second goal of the playoffs. Roy also scored in Friday’s 4- 2 victory at Pechanga Arena San Diego.

Bakersfield opened the scoring 9:30 into the first period on a power- play goal by Joe Gambardella. Defenseman Evan Bouchard took a shot from the point that was redirected by Brad Malone to Gambardella, who tipped the puck past Gulls goaltender Jeff Glass.

The goal was Gambardella’s sixth of the playoffs and fifth of the series. He had a hat trick in Game 3.

Condors goaltender Stuart Skinner stopped 45 of 46 shots for his first victory in the series after two losses. Glass made 42 saves in his second loss of the series. He was the winning goaltender in the first and fourth games.

The Gulls led in shots 46-44, including a 9-8 advantage in the second overtime, before a crowd at Rabobank Arena announced at 7,226, including a bus full of Gulls season ticket holders, a team official said.

The Gulls were scoreless on their two power-play opportunities and killed Bakersfield’s final three after allowing a goal on the first.

The loss was the Gulls first on the road in the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs after two victories each against the Condors and the San Jose Barracuda in their Pacific Division semifinal series.

The game was the third in the series to be decided in overtime. The Gulls won Game 1, 3-2, in four overtimes in a game that ended early last Saturday. Bakersfield won Game 3, 7-6, Wednesday with William Lagesson scoring 33 seconds into overtime.

The Gulls, the Anaheim Ducks AHL affiliate, are seeking to advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time in their four seasons in the AHL. They have never won a best-of-seven series.

The Condors, the Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate, were the Pacific Division regular-season champions, advancing to the playoffs for the first time in their four seasons in the league.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.